Terrorism: FG Puts Customs, FAAN On Red Alert
Following reports of the Islamic State (IS) threat to infiltrate Nigeria to disrupt the sustained peace, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha has alerted the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on the red alert.
In a May 25 memo by O.M. Olaoye on his behalf, the SGF informed the NCS of impending threats to commercial flights out of the country.
The Assistant Comptroller General, Tariff and Trade at the Nigeria Customs Service Headquaters’ Abuja, acknowledged the receipt of the correspondence on June 11.
The SGF memo reads “Available report reveals that AI-Abd al-Faqlr Media, a pro Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (1515) media outlet, on 26’“ April, 2018, warned that ISIS plans to attack commercial flights and bring “bloodshed to the ’ skies”. The warning, which was issued in English, French and Arabic was distributed by Telegram and other online fora and was accompanied by an image of a clean-shaven dark-haired white man sitting on the aisle seat of a flight with a knife in his hand.
“Statements from ISIS affiliated media groups such as Al-Abd al-Faqir media are often used to advise followers on new attack methods and targets. The image of a white man with knife in his hand suggest that the attack could be carried out with a knife as was the case during the 9/11 attacks in the US in 2001.
“It would be recalled that [SIS claimed responsibility for the explosion and death of all two hundred and twentyfour (224) passengers aboard the Russian Metrojet flight 9268 shortly after take-off from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in October, 2015.
“The Ai-Abd al-Faqir Media warning of 26‘” April, 2018 followed a similar statement earlier by 1515 spokesman, Abu Hassan Al-Muhajir, on 22?“ April, 2018, outlining the next stage in the global jihad. Ai~Muhailr had criticized ‘apostate governments” in Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Iran, and Palestine, as well as the Taliban in Afghanistan, reiterating that holy war was the “only way forward”.
“The ISIS appears to be re-strategizlng with more focus on the Middle East and Asia, following the loss of most of its territory in Iraq and Syria. Although Africa of appears not to be on 1515 immediate focus, the return to Africa of former ISIS fighters from Iraq and Syria as well as the existence of ISIS-linked groups such as the technically suave Abu Musab Al-Barnawiled Boko Haram faction call for increased vigilance in the aviation sector, to counter possible new strategies in the 1515 terror campaign.”